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Extended Audio Sample Leaving Van Gogh Audiobook, by Carol Wallace Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (559 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Carol Wallace Narrator: Luis Moreno Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2012 ISBN: 9781461803867
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Leaving Van Gogh is Carol Wallace’s first historical novel and it created quite a buzz among genre luminaries. In this meticulously researched, heartrending story, Wallace re-creates the final fateful days of legendary painter Vincent Van Gogh.

In the summer of 1890, in the French town of Auvers-sur-Oise, Vincent van Gogh shot himself in the chest with a revolver. He died two days later, at the age of thirty-seven, largely unknown despite having completed over two thousand works of art—works that would go on to become some of the most important and valued in the world.

In this riveting novel, Carol Wallace brilliantly navigates the mysteries surrounding the master artist’s death, relying on her vast research to paint an indelible portrait of Van Gogh’s final days—and the friendship that may or may not have destroyed him. Telling Van Gogh’s story from an utterly new perspective—that of his personal physician, Dr. Gachet, a specialist in mental illness and a great lover of the arts—Wallace allows us to view the legendary painter as we’ve never seen him before. In our narrator’s eyes, Van Gogh is an irresistible puzzle, a man whose mind, plagued by demons, poses the most potentially rewarding challenge of Gachet’s career.

Wallace’s narrative brims with suspense and rich psychological insight as it tackles haunting questions about Van Gogh’s fate. A masterly, gripping novel that explores the price of creativity, Leaving Van Gogh is a luminous story about what it means to live authentically, and the power and limits of friendship.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A haunting novel of bold strokes and fine-grained gestures …” 

    Stacy Schiff, New York Times best-selling author 

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gloria | 2/19/2014

    " Very interesting book about Van Gogh. Even though it was fiction it read like a biography. I loved it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lori | 2/5/2014

    " Found this book very interesting. It really painted a great picture of life in the late 1800's. I personally have to be careful reading books that are not uplifting because I tend to take on those feelings..this book takes you inside the mind of Van Gogh who was not the most stable of persons although a genious of the art world. It did make be a big fan of his work and having the desire to study his art more. The writing was wonderful. I am a fan of Carol Wallace now. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Caroline Larsen | 2/1/2014

    " An interesting read. This is a literary format I like, and similar to another recent read, Percival's Planet, in which true historical events (in this case, the last few months before Vincent van Gogh's death) form the framework for a work of fiction. The character of Vincent is heartbreaking, and knowing how his sad story will end lends a melacholy to the whole book. Many of the other characters are a little flat, but overall, a worthwhile, if not stunning, read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Cat | 1/23/2014

    " I couldnt' finish this book. This was a loosely veiled psychological report of Van Gogh's mental health that was more of a report than a story. Also since the story was from the view point of one of the doctors that treated Van Gogh, I found the narrator's point of view and questions regarding his own mental health disturbing. The woman who wrote this story based the story off of a master's thesis that she wrote. I wonder how similar the two documents are. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeanette | 1/23/2014

    " Beautiful word descriptions of some of my favorite paintings, with interesting insight into the artist's life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristina | 1/17/2014

    " This book started out so good. The ending was very disappointing. I disagree with the authors take on Dr. Gachet's "involvement" in Vincent Van Gogh's last week. And that's what the last 100 pages was about. But the first 130 pages- a must read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linda Harkins | 1/3/2014

    " This book resulted from a master's thesis. Written from the perspective of the doctor who befriended Van Gogh, it's as much about mental illness as it is about the artist's paintings. It wasn't profound , but was a light and enjoyable read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Verna | 12/29/2013

    " Very interesting info regarding treatment of mental illness back then. I also learned more about Vincent and Theo Van Gogh than I had known. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carolyn | 12/26/2013

    " I'm loving this ... can't wait to get back to it and finish! Highly recommend for book groups; makes for great discussion material! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Alyssa Greatbanks | 12/18/2013

    " I was hoping for much more with this book. Although it was interesting to hear everything told from Dr. Gachet's point of view, I just didn't like it as much as I hoped I would. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Twiggysrabies | 11/17/2013

    " This book was clearly intended for those familiar with Van Gough's work, though perhaps not those familiar with his life. There is a lot in it that screams of fanfiction, which ultimately, I suppose this is. It is very well written, and I would gladly read it again. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Suzanne Rioux | 9/5/2013

    " The story of Vincent Van Gogh's profound mental struggles told through his relationship with his brother, Theo and his friend and art patron, Dr. Paul Gachet. I'd like to say that his story was made alive in this telling of it...but, no...not for me. An interesting read, though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gary Crippen | 7/11/2013

    " Well-written, imaginative, intriguing. The book gives real life to the subject. Whether or not the book is completely historical, it pictures the artist's life in a fashion that satisfies the aim to know him. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dawn DeRose | 3/11/2013

    " Having also read The Last Van Gogh by Alyson Richman this book was a bit of a disappointment. I did enjoy learning more about Van Gogh's realtionship with the doctor. I was particularly intrigued with medicine's approach to hysteria and epilepsy. All in all an enjoyable read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sheila | 1/27/2013

    " I found this book to be very moving. I was fascinated with the knowledge and treatment of mental illness at this time. The descriptions of his paintings were exquisite! I had to get some books from the library to re-visit his art. After reading this book, I saw colors around me in a new way! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Darla | 3/13/2012

    " Part fact and part fiction. Interesting look at the late period in Van Gogh's live as it may have been. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Suzy | 1/1/2012

    " This book was interesting from an art history perspective, but the pace was a little slow. I was hoping for a bit more action although I still enjoyed reading it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dena Napoli | 11/17/2011

    " Sad, but wonderful and beautifully written. I found myself intrigued from the first moment. Wallace's description of Van Gogh's work made me research the paintings and study them. He really was a genuis. It is very sad that he suffered so much and wasn't recognized publicly until after his death. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matt | 6/12/2011

    " I have always thought Van Gogh to be a unique and mysterious character, and this book confirmed all those thoughts. Told from the unique perspective of Dr. Gatchet (Van Gogh's psychiatrist), this book is a great read for anyone interested in the dark side of genius. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michelle | 6/12/2011

    " An engaging read, but impossibly sad. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jenna | 6/10/2011

    " This is an amazing book...I saw it randomly at the library last week, and I am so glad I grabbed it. Vincent Van Gogh was a brilliant painter, and I always love to learn more about what his life could have been like. It's well worth the read. :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anne | 5/24/2011

    " I enjoyed reading about Van Gogh's life from the perspective of his friend and physician, mostly because I love reading about the lives of artists. The book, as the artist's life, was dark and sad. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy | 5/15/2011

    " Slow, but interesting info about van gogh. If you don't love the artist, then pass "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 5/15/2011

    " I LOVE historical fiction about impressionist painters! Leaving Van Gogh was a really good read. On the author's web site there was a link for a Van Gogh app for my ipad. So as I read the book I could look up the paintings referenced in the story- a true added bonus. I really enjoyed this story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Belinda | 5/14/2011

    " How can one love something so heartbreaking? I really loved the authors command of words to make me feel as though I truly understood what vincent's 'madness' and creative brilliance must've felt like to him. I feel as though I can begin to understand his art and maybe his person. I did love it. "

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About the Author

Carol Wallace, the coauthor of To Marry an English Lord, has written over twenty books in a wide variety of genres. Wallace received an MA in art history from Columbia University; the research for her MA thesis provided the foundation for her novel Leaving Van Gogh. Wallace has also written books on parenting and social history, including 20,001 Names for a Baby, The Debutante’s Guide To Life, and All Dressed in White: The Irresistible Rise of the American Wedding. She currently lives in New York.

About the Narrator

Luis Moreno, a voice actor, has narrated several audiobooks throughout his career.